Deviant claims: most commoners are not ‘Asħˆariyys therefore Asħˆariyys are wrong

Clasping at straws after their self-inflicted humiliation described here, a wahabi says:

<< It is enough that the leaders of the Asħˆariyys admit that they have few followers and that the great majority disagrees with them to the extent that Ibn ˆAsaakir said in Tabyiin kadħib Al-Muftarii:

فإن قيل أن الجم الغفير في سائر الأزمان وأكثر العامة في جميع البلدان لا يقتدون بالأشعري ولا يقلدونه ولا يرون مذهبه ولا يعتقدونه وهم السواد الأعظم وسبيلهم السبيل الأقوم قيل لا عبرة بكثرة العوام ولا التفات إلى الجهال الغتام وإنما الإعتبار بأرباب العلم والاقتداء بأصحاب البصيرة والفهم وأولئك في أصحابه أكثر ممن سواهم ولهم الفضل والتقدم على من عداهم على ان الله عز وجل قال وَمَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلاّ قَلِيلٌ وقال عز من قائل وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ

If it was claimed that the vast majority of people at all times, and most commoners (i.e. the unschooled) in all places do not follow Al-Asħˆariyy or imitate them, and do not share their views, or believe their beliefs, and this is the great majority, and their way is the straightest path, then the answer is: “the size of the amount of commoners and dumb does not matter. What matters is the leaders of the Islamic sciences, and following people with insight and understanding, and the companions of Al-‘Asħˆariyy are more than others among this kind of people. They are the people of superiority and precedence above all others. Moreover, Aļļaah (عز وجل) said:

وَمَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ [هود : 40]

Meaning: And only a few believed with him. (Huud, 40)

He (عز من قائل) also said:

وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ [سبأ : 13]

Meaning: Only a few of creation are thankful. (Saba’, 13) >>

Comment: In other words, Ibn ˆAsaakir is saying that the Qur’aan is explicit in stating that the majority of humans are deviants and disbelievers, so a larger number of average people is no proof of being right.

We can add some aayahs other than those mentioned by Ibn ˆAsaakir as follows:

وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Meaning: “but most people do not believe.” (Huud, 17)

وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

Meaning: “Most people, even if you struggle eagerly, are not believers.” (Yuusuf, 103)

وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الأرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

Meaning: “If you obey most people on Earth they will make you deviate from the path of Aļļaah.” (Al-‘Anˆaam, 116)

So this Wahabi wants to follow the mass of commoners, because they are many, but as you can see from these aayahs, there is no proof in numbers alone. Quite the contrary. Moreover, he wants to do this instead of following the vast majority of leading scholars, even though Aļļaah says:

"إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ"

Meaning: "The only created beings that truly fear Aļļaah are the scholars." (Faaţir, 28)

There is still another point, which is that Ibn ˆAsaakir did not actually say that most commoners are in disagreement with Asħˆariyys. The Wahabi did not get this, because his ilk are the furthest away from understanding and reason. It was the person that argued with Ibn ˆAsaakir that said this. Let us reconstruct his argument as follows:

1. The majority of people is the correct fraction,

2. commoners are the majority,

3. commoners disagree with Al-‘Asħˆariyy,

4. therefore Al-‘Asħˆariyy is wrong.

If you review Ibn ˆAsaakir’s answer to this argument, you will notice that he did not address premise 3. He only addressed premise 1. Why? Because one only needs to show one of the premises of an argument wrong for it to fall apart, so there is no point in addressing the others. This is especially the case when the major premise is shown false, which is the case here. It is here also the premise that is most easily shown wrong, so it would be a waste of time to address any of the others, not the least because it makes no difference anymore whether it is right or wrong.

7 Responses to Deviant claims: most commoners are not ‘Asħˆariyys therefore Asħˆariyys are wrong

  1. geylani says:

    as-salamu ‘alaykum dear shaykh,

    But why then are we argumenting with the Hadith: “My Umma will not unite on a misguidance.”? Many Scholars like Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Imam Muhammad al-Alawi and others are using this argument, that the Ash’ariyya are the guided ones.

    “do not share their views, do not beliefe their beliefs”… that means, the laymen in the street had not the ‘Aqidah of Imam Ash’ari or Maturidi? And if they have not, then which ‘aqidah did they have? The “‘aqidah of the old women”?

    Or does the majority of the umma, the ijma, meant the scholars of islamic sciences?

    as-salamu ‘alaykum

    • “My Umma will not unite on a misguidance,” is a proof for ijmaaˆ consensus being a proof, and it is referring to scholars, not commoners, as the scholars are the leaders and inheritors of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) teachings. The vast majority of scholars of all of the Islamic sciences are in agreement with Al-‘Asħˆariyy, as Ibn Jibriin admits. Very few scholars are on the path of Ibn Tayimyyah, even after him, as I mentioned.

      The belief of commoners is irrelevant, because there is no way to consider it a proof of anything. Claiming to be right because of what they believe is the classic “fallacy of the masses,” so without a scripture text stating that they are always right, there is no proof in what they believe. On the contrary, as stated in the aayahs above, one looks at the leaders of this nation: the elite scholars.

      As for the “‘aqidah of the old women,’ said to be mentioned by al-Juwayiniyy, this is the aqidah of tafwiiđ, which is to deny that Allaah has a likeness to creation, such as being something that can be pointed at, or having a size, and avoid assigning a specific interpretation to ambiguous aayahs that ascribe something to Allaah.

  2. Mo says:

    most commoners arent even muslim. and of the commoners of muslims, most arent salafis. the shia probably have more numbers than they.

    if they want to play a game of numbers they should look at how many countries officially follow the “salafi manhaj” in the muslim world? it’s only saudi arabia.

  3. Begging to Allaah says:

    Why did you translate it as the only created beings?
    Are you saying that Allaah doesn’t disclose anything to angels or angels do not fear Allaah. There could be many unknown beings created by Allaah.

  4. Salamun ‘alaykom respected shaykh,

    How then do we understand the hadith that says that the saved sect is As-Sawaad al-A’tham, or the great majority of the muslims? Does it then refer only to the scholars?

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